A famous home remedy for illness is “feed a cold, starve a fever”. This has actually been traced back to a quote from a dictionary in the 1500s! But is it true?
When our body has a cold, our immune system needs energy to fight it. We need to continue nourishing our body with healthy food when we have a cold.
When we have a fever, our immune system raises our body temperature, This increases the metabolism, and we need additional energy from the diet, so taking in additional calories is helpful.
So a better statement would be, “feed a cold, feed a fever.”
With both a cold and a fever, drinking fluids is even more important then eating. Fever, cough, and congestion can dehydrate us, so keeping well hydrated becomes even more important. Even if a patient isn’t hungry, staying hydrated with clear liquids, juice, or tea can be very helpful with both colds and fever.